Friday, March 28, 2008

Dereon Subliminals


This ad for Dereon girls has been making its rounds on multiple blogs so I thought that I would offer my thoughts on it.....

First off, I am trying to understand Beyonce in this ad - is she supposed to be fierce or a bitch, or both? I get that she is supposed to be the "queen" of this little girls' tea party, as she is wearing the crown, and I also get that she is trying to be all up in my face - so from a branding perspective I guess it works (very reminiscent of 90's advertising) . My confusion pertains to the expression on her face and the reasoning behind the expression - constipation?, did she have a bad day (b'day... lol)?, is there someone at her tea party that she does not want there?, did someone at her party piss her off?, is the light really bright?, is she going to be mad at me if I don't buy some of the Dereon girls line? or is she just over it? Whatever the rationale behind this expression - I don't really think that it contributes to the overall effectiveness of selling girls' clothes.

Moving on, my primary concern and issue with this ad is the negative message conveyed to girls at this age by this ad and the subtle racial subtext that is encoded in the ad.

I hope that parents with girls of this age DO NOT aspire for their daughters to look like this and to be made up like the girls in this ad. The last thing that girls at this age should be concerned about is overpriced children's clothing and wearing make up. Instead of spending that ca$h money on designer children's wear (that won't fit in 6 months) parents should use that money on other items that will enrich and empower their children. Children should not be the puppets of their parents' conspicuous consumption. The Dereon marketing team has totally taken a fundamental children's past time, tea parties, and manipulated and exploited the concept in order to create an ad campaign that speaks to and creates a lifestyle which parents either identify with or aspire to for their children. Ultimately, the subconscious subtext of the ad speaks to parents in a manner which will make them feel that their daughters are more like them - more adult.

It is interesting to look at the girls in this ad and the characters that they play. The girl in the pink/fuchsia outfit is the main subject of the ad as she is looking right at us and she expresses a welcoming smile - she is the life of this tea party. The darker skinned girl is positioned in the back and appears to be smiling - perhaps she is just happy to be included in the ad and she is the sidekick to the girl who is the life of the party. The third, light skinned, girl on the bottom right appears to be disinterested in the whole scene and her gaze is completely outside of the frame - she may be understood as the snobby, miserable and bitchy character. It is interesting that these are the character types that were chosen for this ad and equally interesting is the assignment of each girl to those character types - I would be interested to see how an asian girl, plus size girl, or more androgynous looking girl would be cast in this ad.....

Boo to this ad.....
www.dereon.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beyonce should be ashamed of herself!